If you saw the show at the Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, when it opened last month, you haven’t seen the show.
“He came into town the other day and changed the big piece on the back wall,” gallery owner Amanda Harris said. “He put a wash over it and put his mug shot over it.”
The show by Benjamin Alejandro is titled “The Trouble Is, You Think You Have Time.” It refers not just to the temporary nature of art but of life itself. Before the alteration, the wall featured a grid of hearts rendered in 16-bit style reminiscent of video game life indicators.
“One of the concepts behind the show is thinking about the idea that we’re all going to die,” Alejandro said. “We do have a life span, and it ends. At the same time, I’m pondering the digital age that keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
This is Alejandro’s second show at the gallery. Last year’s show, “Success,” was dominated by images of celebrity mug shots. He included his own mug shot, a reminder of his days as a street artist.
“I see this show as the logical progression from last year’s,” Harris said. “That show was about the ideas of success and pop culture and celebrity. There’s some of that in this show, but, with things like the coffin in the middle of the room, he’s also dealing with mortality.”
Alejandro is from Los Angeles, and it was in galleries there that Harris first saw the artist’s work. Her method of choosing art and artists to show in the gallery is personal.
“First and foremost, I have to love their work,” Harris said. “Once I’ve established that the work is wonderful, I’ve got to really click with the artist.”
For this show Alejandro used images inspired by technology from the last 30 years, including an image of the first Macintosh computer.
“Once computers started to come out for the home consumer, it paved the way for where we’re at today,” Alejandro said. “The digital age is here, and we keep gravitating toward it. I’m a big fan of it.”
The show is scheduled to be on display through Jan. 18, when it is set have a second life at a gallery in Pomona, Calif. After that, Alejandro isn’t sure what direction his art will take.
“I’m going to take some time to develop a few new pieces,” he said. “I have a few loose ideas I’m working out. I may work with some more traditional fine art. They might be very different from what I’m doing now.”
An artist talk and closing reception is scheduled at 6 p.m. Jan. 18. The gallery is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and by appointment. For more information and a schedule of special events at the gallery, visit amandaharrisgallery.com or call 702-769-6036.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at email@example.com or 702-380-4532.